Enfin veuve [A Widow At Last] (2007)

Enfin veuve is a French movie by Isabelle Mergault, starring Michèle Laroque, Jacques Gamblin and Tom Morton.

Plot:
For years, Anne-Marie [Michèle Laroque] and Léo [Jacques Gamblin] had had an affair. But Anne-Marie never had the courage to leave her husband Gilbert [Wladimir Yordanoff]. Now, Léo gets a job offer in Asia somewhere [I don’t remember, I think it was Japan…]. They decide to go away together. But then Anne-Marie’s husband dies in a car accident and instead of being liberated by that, Gilbert’s whole family turns up to support the grieving widow and Anne-Marie is forced to pretend to grief.

If you overlook the very strained premise of the plot and some logical mistakes in the story, Enfin veuve is an amusing movie that makes for an entertaining, uneventful evening.

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The cast was very good, especially Tom Gordon as Anne-Marie’s son Christophe. He really was perfectly chosen for the well-meaning squeaky clean “Schnösel” who manages nothing but being the most annoying person EVAH. [A Schnösel is kind of like a frat boy but without the drinking and misbehaving. If you know what I mean.] Holy shit, when he started singing, I thought that I’d fall off my chair.

They really had their fun with the “secret affair” premise. Example: Anne-Marie’s sneaking to Léo’s, with glasses and a trench coat and everything. And she’s all like 70s spy movie when her neighbour sees her and shouts, “Hello Anne-Marie!” Awesome.

Also, most of Léo’s friends know about the whole thing and yet they still have to pretend not to whenever they stumble upon Anne-Marie and Léo.

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But here’s where I had my problems: I don’t understand why Anne-Marie wouldn’t grieve at all. I mean, no matter how bad things were between Anne-Marie and Gilbert (and they were estranged bad and not abusive-bad in which case I’d strike this paragraph from the post), they were married for decades and they’ve lived together for so long… I don’t think that anybody would be like, “woooh, party!” after somebody they shared so much with died.

And then I didn’t understand why all this pretense was necessary. So what, she fell in love with another guy while she was still married. Can happen to the best of us. And she doesn’t even like her husband’s family and yet she lies to protect them. I felt like that was trying too hard to get the desired situation.

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But what I understood least was the way Anne-Marie behaved towards Christophe. I mean, she might not be in pain over her husband’s death, but her son definitely griefed over his father’s death. And she wasn’t there for him at all. In fact, all she ever thought of him was how obnoxious he was being, keeping her away from her affair.

Maybe I’m being overly idealistic here, but I think that parents should care about their children. And they should be there for them. And they should not only love them, but like them as well. All of which seemed missing here.

Anyway, if you disregard those things (and I think you can pretty easily), Enfin veuve is solid entertainment. One of those movies to watch on a rainy night when nothing else is on and you just don’t want to use your brain.

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